Police in northeast Iceland used pepper spray to break up a party last Saturday after guests refused to leave.
Austurfrétt reports that last Saturday, a group of young people had rented out the Blúskjallarann club in Neskaupstaður to celebrate Verkmenntaskóla Austurlands secondary school’s annual party. Later on in the evening, some underaged guests arrived, prompting neighbours to call the police.
According to witnesses at the party, police attempted to disperse the party, but there were some guests who felt they had the right to stay. In response, witnesses say, police used pepper spray against five individuals, three of whom sought medical attention afterwards. Guests that Austurfrétt spoke to said they believed the police could have resolved the conflict without the use of force.
East Iceland police chief Jónas Wilhelmsson, for his part, told reporters that the use of pepper spray was regrettable but necessary. By his version of events, police were taking names when one person refused to identify themselves. Police intended to take this person into custody, when other guests reportedly became upset. It was at this point that police took out pepper spray cannisters, telling guests to disperse. When they did not, pepper spray was used.
Jónas added the the Police Commissioner will soon be paying a visit to assess the matter. Police were equipped with video cameras, and the footage will be examined to get a better look at what actually happened at the party.